Kukla's Korner

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Waiting On Mitch Marner

from Damien Cox at the Toronto Star,

If all goes according to the NHL’s plan to get back to normal, Marner will have 82 games to get through before the real opportunity to prove himself comes in the 2021 Stanley Cup playoffs, assuming the Leafs get there again. It’s going to be a long wait.

That’s what happens when you go 18 games in the playoffs without a goal. It’s also what happens when you carry a $10.9-million (U.S.) annual cap hit. Of late, new contracts, and cheaper ones, signed by players like Brayden Point, Sean Couturier and Andrei Svechnikov, have given more ammunition to those who would argue Marner not only disappears in the playoffs, but that he’s overpaid, to boot.

So that’s the environment one of hockey’s best right wingers will confront this fall, and it’s going to be fascinating to see how he responds to it. He might take the predictable approach, say things like “I only care about what the guys in the room think” and keep the media and public at a distance.

Or, he might open up, talk about what he’s done during the off-season to raise his game and engage with the media more than he has in the past. That approach might win him more public support, but not if he fails to play at the high level that made him the NHL’s fourth-leading scorer last season. You don’t want to be the chatty type who can’t produce.

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

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About Kukla's Korner Hockey

Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.

Email Paul anytime at pk@kuklaskorner.com